Equal Opportunity

This week we debate DRM and how it applies to connected virtual grids, discuss platforms, examine a landmark ruling on virtual goods, and more!

This week’s topics include:


William Reed Seal-Foss (Reed Steamroller) is a 3D artist and virtual world content creator for Sand Castle Studios, LLC.

Bernhard Drax (Draxtor Despres) is a musician, new media producer, and machinima journalist.

Thank you to our sponsor, Pretty Feet!

About Kim/Gianna

Kimberly Winnington (SL: Gianna Borgnine) is the Emmy nominated owner and CEO of Sand Castle Studios, LLC, a company dedicated to helping organizations maximize the full potential of virtual worlds and social media by creating interactive, social, and 3D experiences. For the last 5 years, Kimberly has helped SCS clients stay ahead of the curve and is a respected resource for information on current and developing trends, social media, and immersive experiences.
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29 Responses to Equal Opportunity

  1. Inara Pey says:

    Regarding “guest blogging”

    You miss the two key points:

    “Exclusivity” – LL demanded exclusivity. Traditionally, this *is* paid for. More to the point, for someone like me, writing original articles takes time away from my own blog which may well *detract* from my readership as much as it *might* drive some new readership towards it.

    On the editorial front – the terms and conditions *did not* specify the editing would necessarily be collaborative – i.e., LL working *with* the author. Rather, it simply *reserved the right* for LL to re-word articles – *that* is a completely different matter to editorial support (and I’m speaking as someone who working in publishing). Sadly, given LL’s past performance where communications are concerned, bloggers can’t really be blamed if they *did* take the wording of the guidelines to mean submitted articles will undergo editorial changes *without* consultation with the author.

    Frankly, there are far better ways of LL soliciting support; and I raised one via my follow-up “Of blogs and blogging” (as did many other) through the use of re-posting *published* blog articles that meet their requirements (i.e. if they see a post on my blog they like, they can re-post via their website). This is actually something (as Tateru has pointed out) they’ve done before, but then suspended; so how much better it would have been had they re-introduced the process. And it’s not as if they “don’t have time” to read blogs – both Brett and Viale have stated time and effort *does* go into reading blogs (and I’ve had feedback direct from LL in relation to posts on my own blog which support this).

    Had LL opted for this kind of approach – re-posting, rather than insisting on exclusivity with (potentially) one-sided editing – then their offer would have most likely received wholehearted support from the community as a whole.

    • Kim/Gianna says:

      I didn’t mean to miss them, just didn’t mention them on the podcast.

      Exclusivity – I also don’t see this as a problem at all. Of course they want exclusivity. Why would people read it on LL’s blog, if they can read it on your blog? If I was a guest blogger on anyone’s blog or vice versa I would expect the same. In my opinion, exclusivity was assumed. In addition, all of the examples I gave on the podcast, like the Huffington Post also were exclusives. It’s quite common when guest blogging. In fact, I would think non-exclusivity would be extremely rare. I also don’t see why this upsets bloggers? You are still credited with the post and it links back to your blog, therefore, still generating you traffic, exposing you to a new audience who might them become a regular reader of your main blog, etc.

      Editing not being collaborative – Ok, this one I understand better, but I still don’t get the inherit mistrust. I trust that if I wrote a fair, well written, quality post that Linden Lab would publish it with minor edits. In fact, I assume the only edits they would make would be grammatical, things that they feel might shed them in unflattering light, or something that might qualify as a legal issue for them. I would never submit a post that didn’t already take those things into consideration, so I can’t see Linden Lab having any motivation to unfairly edit my post. What would they stand to gain from that? And to be blunt, I don’t think this condition was added for you or I. If you’ve ever scrolled through the feeds or even some of the comments left on post.. many submission have several issues with grammar, spelling errors, bad photographs, inappropriate comments, etc. I can understand why they would want to edit them. Again, I see this as common. As I said on the podcast, this show can be used as an example. I edit the show before it’s posted as we often record for well over an hour and sometimes get off track or have random issues like dogs barking, phones ringing, etc. I try to cut out some of those things when possible in order to make a better show. Therefore, technically, when appearing as a guest on the show, you run the risk that I could edit you in an unflattering way or take something you said out of context, etc. But why would I want to do that? No one would want to be a guest on the show, I’d lose creditably, etc. The same goes for Linden Lab in this case.

      As for re-posting a post.. I guess that’s personal preference. I would never re-post something on my blog that appears somewhere else and quite frankly, I don’t like when people re-post my blogs on their site. It doesn’t happen often, so I just look the other way, but I would much rather be linked to then re-posted.

      • Inara Pey says:

        Re-posting is personal preference, true – but the fact is, it was seen as popular when originally done by LL (under Catherine Smith’s watch, Tateru reminded me – though I had actually forgotten), and it is something most of those who did not like LL’s most recent offer *did* actually give voice to themselves as a preferred means of going about things.

        Editing obviously goes on all the time (btw..it’s actually my professional field, despite my own god-awful typing). That’s not the point – it is how the terms and conditions as set forth by LL were perceived. They were read as one-sided, and people do sadly have a built-in mistrust of the Lab when it comes to communications (although one only has to look at the way they’ve repeatedly censured their forums to see where the mistrust originates).

        At the end of the day, compared to what has been done in the past, what might have been put in place as a forward-looking *strategy* that encouraged co-operation and involvement, what was offered *did* come across as a 3:00pm coffee-break idea which was subsequently fumbled in execution. The fact that it did upset many bloggers who are otherwise openly and repeatedly supportive of LL in the vast majority of cases pretty much demonstrates this to be the case.

    • draxtor says:

      Exclusivity – debatable if that is too much to ask for, but I fully understand LL: reposting makes no sense, they link to content on FB and other venues as is!

      Editing – I have never been in a situation – be it writing music for Indie films, bigger films in Germany, doing musician interviews for Alfred Publishing here in the US OR running the news department at the local NPR station – where an editor did NOT have final say no matter how much the writer/reporter/composer whined, cried, begged. That might happen at the Dan Brown or Michael Crichton level but nowhere else!

  2. draxtor says:

    …and a minute after taping the big acquisition news comes out damnit! German press is good though [largely] saying “SL is the sleeping giant”! I say: WAKE UP PLEASE?
    Here is the article run thru google trans = http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.focus.de%2Fdigital%2Fcomputer%2Finternet-linden-lab-steuert-neue-welten-an_aid_715044.html&act=url

  3. Medhue says:

    What I think they should do with Linden Homes is change it into a resident controlled renters community. So, all those people that were trying to rent out homes or rentals in SL could now sign up to rent Linden Homes on their own land. LL would then just pay whoever is renting the units. The renters can rent from any official Linden Homes Landlord. This is a much better structure and it would still be somewhat free market, but LL has direct supervision. The landlords would compete with things like events and whatnot to draw in as many renters as they could. Plus, the renter would get individualize service that would truely keep the users involved and coming back. This would kind of be like an official government program, lol. Yeah, LL might have to dishout some cash, but they end up getting it right back in tier. In my mind, LL is basically getting individualized customer service for all their newbies, and paying customers, and they aren’t really paying a dime for it. It’s a government solution with a free market component.

  4. Crap Mariner says:


    Listening now, had to hit pause at 47 minutes.

    As someone (who isn’t a Someone) who’s been a guest on your show before, I wasn’t expecting to get paid, but also I wasn’t really looking for exposure… just to join the discussion, have a few laughs. (Did I even plug my sites? Not sure. Can’t remember. If he were still around, I’d be plugging Under The Radar by Radar Masukami still. Heh. Old-time SL Podcaster joke.)

    The simplest difference between y’all and the Labbies is that you don’t make a s— ton of money in marked-up resold hosting services and locked-in walled garden content and then ask for marketing material for free. That, to me, is chutzpah, regardless of whatever “exposure” benefit I’d get for… um… what, really? (It’s not like I’m monetizing that SecondLie stuff or the 100 Word Stories stuff yet, and God forbid anybody reads my bare-knuckles trasheap of a site.)

    Heck, when I mentioned AvaHeart, that ultimately ends up in the coffers of RFL (and gets Burke’s amazing creations a bit more notice, along with the other folks having fun making hearts for it.)

    I’m standing with Chestnut on this, but if y’all wanna go all bumbling puppy leaping at the pant legs of the Labbies for your chance at their blog, be my guest.

    As for Medhue’s comment, how about asking for a brace of daggers and then go around stabbing every low-rent private-sim reseller in the heart? (Well, maybe in the case of those on Atlas benefits who don’t do Atlas-level benefits, be my guest.)

    Linden Homes were meant as a starter, but not to compete with the reseller market… adding that functionality and permission level would benefit the LH users, sure, but could result in further destruction of the reseller market as people hole in in their 127-prim ratwarrens.


    PS: Will listen to the rest, but good show as always. Keep up the good work.

    • Kim/Gianna says:

      Fair points about blogging for LL. The exposure formula doesn’t fit everyone. However, I don’t see it as “bumbling puppy leaping at the pant legs of the Labbies for your chance at their blog.” I would happily guest blog or be a guest of some kind for anyone for free. I freely give away advice/ideas all the time. Like you, I really enjoy virtual worlds and would leap at any opportunity to talk about them. It’s not about the fact that it’s “the Lab” just a new opportunity at a different audience. I would feel the same way about many “resident” run sites as well.

      I guess my reaction is not so much that your missing an opportunity, but more why do you feel the need to chastise the Lab? If it’s not for you, it’s not for you. All the time people have contests to create a building or avatar or whatever. Dusan just did one for that Einstein project. While I think they are awesome and would love to do them (and think we have the talent do them better than a lot of people), that is where I have to draw the line and say… pay me. So, I close the page and move on. I didn’t write about how Dusan’s or fill in the blank person/company is getting paid by the client and should hire someone. Why the need to attack the Lab?

      P.S. When I first glanced at your post I thought you were saying that you hit 47 minutes and you just couldn’t stand to listen any longer. LOL.

  5. Vanessa says:

    *Firstly*, I *will* use lots of *asterisks* because it makes what *I* say more *important*, at least to *me*.

    *Secondly*, as *usual* you have a *broad* range of *topics* which is just *grand* to see.

    *Thirdly*, even though *opinions* are *so* *diverse* in feedback, you *publish* them *all* which is also *great* to see

    *Fourthly*, Kim *I* am *Disappointed* to hear you *curse*

    *Fifthly* I *am* looking forward to any show with *Claudia* on it, *can’t* wait


  6. Metacam Oh says:

    You guys do realize in regard to “exposure” that no one even goes on the Second Life web page. Go look at the forums, dead as a doornail.

  7. draxtor says:

    Thanks everyone for listening and enduring us – insightful comments worthy to comment back but I am going NUTS with playing with mesh in SL….no time….next episode I shall respond!!!

  8. Latif Khalifa says:

    Reed, to use your language, first get a f*cking clue. Opensim doesn’t use any Linden code.
    Second, if all of your responses are “who the f*ck cares” I can only ask “why the f*uck are you participating in otherwise great Metareality podcast”. Let the other people there that have something to say, say it FFS.

    • Vanessa says:

      If Opensim is not based upon any linden code, I’m really curious as to what it is based upon? Have I perhaps slipped through a space/time continuum to an alterverse where Opensim was the first and original?

      • Latif Khalifa says:

        Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome all speak the same network protocol but are all based on different code base. Similarly OpenSim implements the protocols Second Life simulators use, but does not use any of the Linden Lab code.

      • Vanessa says:

        OK, I think it is a matter of terminology. The server software ‘opensim’ does not use any linden code, however the viewers that connect to the server are using linden code – it uses the protocol that Linden lab created.
        From a laymans perspective, that may be considered to be code;
        “code” being the thing that makes it run
        A better way to phrase it would be to say it’s based on Linden lab’s technology.

        • Vanish says:

          It’s an important distinction, though. Because OpenSim does not use any Linden Code (and indeed also didn’t learn anything from the viewer) it can exist as a legal reverse-engineered platform without the threat of getting sued into extinction by LL. So no, OpenSim does not use Linden Technology. The fact that you can connect with the Linden Viewer is a feature, but there are OpenSim-exclusive viewers as well. If anything, OpenSim uses SL ideas and aims for feature parity.

  9. Chestnut Rau says:

    I was one voice in a LOUD big choir so howzcome I get top billing here guys? My post was about 150 words while others wrote volumes. I am hardly the headliner but be that as it may. You love me. I can feel it.

    I want to point out a few things:

    Moles – get paid
    Machinima makers who produce film for Linden Lab – get paid
    Content creators for Library items – get paid.

    None of these people are paid in “exposure” or “the opportunity to learn” which is patronizing bullshit in my opinion. They get exposure and I am sure learn a lot from the experience. They also get cash. Why exactly is my time, effort and product worth less than say…a machinima?

    LL can link to any of my posts for absolutely free! They can (and should) create a moderated blog feed from existing writers who are already showcasing the amazing things going on in Second Life. The writing is out there now and it is available for LL immediately. I really wish LL would create such a feed. I would especially love it if they sought out and highlighted new talent instead of relying on crap from people like me who have been around a while.

    If LL posted one article a week and paid $5K linden for each it would cost them less than $1,500 USD a year. The dollars we are talking about here are minimal but the respect and value it conveys to bloggers is priceless.

    But, I guess we are whiny children who are demanding respect and if we don’t get what we want we should all take our marbles and go home to Open Sim? Is that what you really think?

    I am quite sure lots of people will see the value in the LL offer and I am sure it will work for them. I did not attack those who plan to participate in this scheme. I did not attack LL either. I had an opinion about the value of my own work and expressed it. If doing so gets an invitation to leave the community from you guys? That is most unfortunate.

    • draxtor says:

      Chestnut – I can not raise my children on exposure – pretty clear but I need to defend my point that this is a great opportunity! For machinima: you have it wrong actually – I produced three vids for free – each of them 3 days of work including sound design, voice over and music. Slapped my logo on it, uploaded on official channel & got feedback a few months later that lead to a job because folks saw it and loved the style. Anecdotal evidence, sure…just saying: apply yourself, be humble & work like a dog! German work ethic that made me succeed in this country? Mhhhhh possibly!!! [link to one vid here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlIn35BuNsfU&slist=PL4E0BA6C2CACC6973&sindex=7&feature=plpp_videoss ]

    • Kim/Gianna says:

      Oh Chesnut… I do love you.

      Thank you for commenting. You have some well thought out points. I definitely need to think them over a bit more before responding, but I wanted to comment to some of the other points right away. First, I never mean to be “patronizing.” I certainly don’t think blogger’s time is worth any less. I also never said or meant that anyone should ever “leave the community.” I value everyone’s opinion. I try in every podcast to invite someone who represents a different point of view or argue both sides. In this podcast as used you as an example of the other point of view (because I respect your opinion) in response to Reed/Drax. So, I’m not sure what was said in the podcast (I’ll have to go back and listen again) to otherwise imply I think people should “go home to Opensim,” but I think it’s important not to group all of us together as we each have are own separate thoughts and opinions and I definitely don’t always agree with the others and vice versa.

      Let me ponder your points about getting paid some more… you made me think.

      • draxtor says:

        we are individuals on this show and the whole groupthink thing is not REAL??? Darn it I was duped…..anyway, Chestnut – I highly respect you but it is healthy to disagree when there is disagreement – respectfully of course! Gianna is a lot calmer than I or Reed! My defense? Born where people after a car accident scream at each other for 15 minutes, then go drink a beer. No lawyers involved :)

        • Chestnut Rau says:

          I write about SL because I love it and I am more than happy with the 7,000 page views I get a month. I don’t need to drive traffic to my blog and I don’t have anything to sell so “exposure” is not really important to me.

          When this issue blew up one of the fashion bloggers who wrote for the SL blog said on Plurk that she got no real traffic from her exposure. She did say she was the subject of nasty comments from people who questioned her “authority” to speak as a fashion expert. I tried searching for that conversation but I think it was deleted. I believe the blogger was Gidge Uriza.

          The bottom line is being a guest blogger on the SL blog may or may not translate into page views or sales or future work. Any way you look at it, appearing on the SL blog would be a kick for people who are interested in self promotion and perhaps a moment of SLelebrity. I wish everyone luck and I hope LL gets some great copy.

          I still hope for the day when Linden Lab creates a moderated feed and highlights existing blogs because we tell the story of the wonders of Second Life. Every day.

  10. Onyx says:

    You all are taking Reed too seriously. He’s the Cartman of the show, brillant and offensive. Draxtor is Kyle, thoughful with a temper, he constantly spews his political and religious agenda for which he is ridiculed. Kim is Stan, the sensible leader providing the voice of reason. Qarl is Kenny, iconic yet so quiet during some episodes that he may have died only to return next week.

  11. Fleep Tuque says:

    This is pretty old news really, they did the same thing with the SLED crowd years ago and I participated at first. More to get exposure for some of the great educational projects happening around the grid than personal exposure, but eventually you realize the benefit is all one way – to them.

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  13. Interesting podcast as always.

    As one of the first to comment on the “Calling All Bloggers” post, I figured I’d better add my own opinions on the subject (everyone else has!) . My own blog is so small that frankly I’d be thrilled to have any form of exposure that gave me 1/20 of the readers that the bigger bloggers currently enjoy. Yet I currently stand by what I said on the earlier post. I’m not tempted to submit an article under the current offer for various reasons, the main one being..

    ” We reserve the right to review and edit. We regularly edit posts by our contributors and guest bloggers.”

    The only way I can describe my thoughts about this is to give an example. So lets imagine I’ve invited three small bloggers to submit posts on my blog for free..Blogger A, Blogger B and Blogger C. Blogger A writes a piece about the various Third Party Viewers, Blogger B critics some of the artists and Blogger C writes a review of a new Sim they have found. All three deliver, but before I publish each one I purge all mention of the Dolphin Viewer from Blogger A’s, because I don’t like using it. I alter the wording of Blogger B’s criticism of an artist, because that artist happens to be on my friends list. I cut paragraphs out of Blogger C’s work because frankly I think it is too long. All three complain, and I smile when pointing out a certain clause..

    “We reserve the right to review and edit. We regularly edit posts by our contributors and guest bloggers.”

    If I was being paid for an article, then I’d accept that treatment. But the articles would be for free and I still see it as being a very one sided deal. Now if I am wrong in how I view things, then I’ll hold my hands up and admit it. But unfortunately (and this is based on how I perceive the ‘reputation’ of the Lab) I don’t think I will be.

    If I were a new user, business, educator or non profit organisation, I would be more than suspicious of any company that has sugar coated and sanitized their forums to present a happy picture. If they really want to engage community spirit then the posts should be published as they stand, be it positive or negative and under a CO-OPERATIVE editorial policy, so that the Lab are happy that the community guidelines are met and the writer is happy that what he or she are trying to get across isn’t lost in translation. I’m sure by now you’ve seen the various posts and comments across the blogosphere/Twitter/Plurk about this. That is what the Lab should encourage..Get people debating and discussing what has been said and they need to learn and implement change as a result. I would respect so much more a company that recognised it had faults, and was willing to listen to and feedback on criticism, rather than a company that hid behind ‘fresh faces’ and ‘fresh perspectives’. I would also say that it does pay to listen the ‘screaming mob’ as well, no matter how uncomfortable it gets. Because in all their frustration they might well have a valid point to get across..

    *sigh* I can dream….

    Anyway..back to the original post..when I read the terms and conditions on that post, not only did I not see any information on their editorial policy, but there is no information on how often these posts will be published (weekly, monthly?), no information on the chances of your post being chosen (how many posts will be accepted for publishing? 1 a week? 10 a week?) and no information on the potential reader stats for such posts. As for payment..sure, it would be great if they paid for each post published (who wouldn’t accept help to pay the tier?) but at that point in the original comment I was being facetious. Isn’t going to happen.

    I really hope that the Lindens will consider going back to the drawing board, work out a more clearly defined offer, perhaps covering some of the things I’ve mentioned, and put it back on the table. In fact I’d go as far as offer them a challenge.

    “Tempt me with a better offer Linden Lab. And more importantly, prove me wrong in my opinion of you.”

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